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Monday, September 20, 2021

Daily Briefing: Eye on UP polls, farm leaders take on BJP; Kerala fights twin concerns of Covid-19 and Nipah virus

Indian cricket team coach Ravi Shastri and three support staff members test positive for Covid and will undergo quarantine of 14 days.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: September 6, 2021 8:30:15 am
A look at the top news today, September 16, 2021.

Good morning,

The Big Story

At a “mahapanchayat” in Muzaffarnagar, farm leaders announced their plan to campaign against the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, with the state assembly elections just months away. Significantly, the Muzaffarnagar riots were referenced in almost every speech as leaders appealed to farmers to condemn communal politics.

Only in the Express

In this edition of Idea Exchange, Delhi University’s Acting V-C Prof P C Joshi talks of the problem of high cut-offs and finding a balance with the plan to have entrance exams, feels ranking systems give a sense of goal, and says while he prefers physical classes, going online has been a learning experience.

From the Front Page

At a time when Kerala has been grappling with a high number of Covid-19 cases, a 12-year-old boy succumbed to the Nipah virus in Kerala’s Kozhikode district. The Nipah infection travels from bats to humans and some other animals including dogs and horses. 

A day after its affiliate publication Panchjanya alleged that Bengaluru-based IT major Infosys supported anti-India forces, the RSS distanced itself from the controversy saying that the weekly is “not mouthpiece of the RSS and the said article or opinions expressed in it should not be linked with the RSS”.

Indian cricket team coach Ravi Shastri and three support staff members tested positive for Covid and will undergo quarantine of 14 days. This effectively rules out Shastri’s presence in the dressing room for the rest of the Test series with the fifth and final match to be held from September 10 to 14.

Must Read

For India, like the Olympics last month, the Tokyo Paralympics ended with a gold medal that added glitter to its best-ever showing. With 19 medals overall, India finished 24th on the medals tally. However, there is more to the para-leap of a nation that had a grand total of just 12 medals before Tokyo: a harder push by the government, timely hand-holding by private players, mushrooming of exclusive arenas and incentives, and most significantly, a level playing field for para and able-bodied athletes. 

The Gujarat government has set itself a three-year deadline for the Sabarmati Ashram redevelopment project, but a key challenge lies in bringing on board the multiple stakeholders — the six Trusts who own the land, the ashramwasis whose successive generations have been living on its premises since Mahatma Gandhi’s time and who now have to be relocated, and the organisations that work out of the larger ashram area. 

The Haryana government has finally transferred IPS officer Kala Ramchandran as the Principal Secretary of the transport department, a day after The Indian Express reported as to how the IPS officer’s move had triggered a point of conflict between Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, and Home Minister Anil Vij. While Khattar was pushing for the officer’s transfer to the post meant for someone from the IAS cadre, the Home Minister did not seem to be on the same page.

Even as central leaders of the BJP maintained that Jat leader Rakesh Tikait’s call at the Muzaffarnagar Mahapanchayat to vote against the party would not do much damage to its prospects in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh election, party MP Varun Gandhi called for “re-engagement” with the protesting farmers.

And Finally…

After below-par scores, India has finally put up a big total. England ended at 77 for no loss, chasing 368 for victory. Another 291 runs needed in a minimum of 90 overs on the final day. The highest successful chase at this venue is 263, England trumping Australia in 1902. Even in its batting-friendliness, this match is heading for an exciting finish and Shardul Thakur deserves credit for that. His half-century in the first innings kept his team in the game. On Sunday, after three quick wickets and India at 312/7, he once again made his presence felt, adding 100 runs for the seventh wicket with Pant.

Delhi confidential: A poll by US-based survey research firm Morning Consult has given Prime Minister Narendra Modi the highest approval rating among global leaders. 

In today’s podcast, we talk about the significance of the ISI chief visiting Kabul, India’s performance at the Tokyo Paralympics, and the Kisan Mahapanchayat in Muzaffarnagar.

Until tomorrow,

Leela Prasad G and Rounak Bagchi

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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